Design

Four Ways to Entertain Yourself

George watching TV

What have you been watching/reading/playing these days? Here are four things we’re enjoying…

Palm Springs movie

The new Hulu romantic comedy Palm Springs first piqued my interest when it sold at Sundance for a record sum ($17.5 million, if you’re wondering). Then multiple people whose opinions I trust told me they loved it. So, I watched it last night, and wow, what a ride. It’s about two people (played by Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti) who meet at a desert wedding and then get stuck in a time warp. I won’t say more, because I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s trippy, zany, and a lot of fun. — Caroline 

mentalist Jason Suran virtual show

How have you been staying in touch with loved ones? The other night, we hosted a 45-minute virtual performance with mentalist Jason Suran. He was able to do crazy tricks, including guessing incredibly obscure words that people were thinking, just by watching their faces. The reactions of everyone were hilarious — lots of gasps, screams and applause. It was the most invigorating evening. Book a show here, if you’d like. — Joanna

say I do Netflix show

From the creators of Queer Eye, the Netflix show Say I Do features couples who haven’t been able to get married because of health, personal or financial reasons. The charming hosts — Jeremiah Brent, Thai Nguyen and Gabriele Bertaccini — surprise each twosome with the wedding of their dreams, all pulled off within a week. Toby and I devoured all eight episodes, laughing and crying throughout. — Joanna

what do you meme

Have you ever played What Do You Meme? It’s a favorite of our family. You get cards with photos and cards with captions, and the goal is to match them up to make the most hilarious meme. We love to play the family edition, which is full of pictures of kids and animals, and kid-friendly captions, like ‘when you’re trick-or-treating and someone gives you a box of raisins.’ (For adults, they also have the regular R-rated version, and tons of expansion packs, including memes from shows like Real Housewives and movies like Mean Girls.) I highly recommend it! — Joanna

What have you been enjoying these days?

P.S. More fun things, and what are your top three movies of all time?

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  1. Noelle C says...

    That George gif is hypnotic. I’ve been staring at it for 5 min.

  2. Melanie says...

    Thanks Joanna for recommending Say I Do. I started watching on your recommendation and im crying and laughing too!!

  3. Katie says...

    Thank you, Caroline (emphatic period).

  4. Olivia says...

    Ok, I read this post yesterday and then immediately and very impulsively booked Jason for a Zoom birthday party *tonight* and…WE LOVED HIM!!!!!! It was a surprise for the birthday boy and it was genuinely jaw-dropping and really so much fun. We are all professional performers with almost obnoxiously high standards for things like this and we were super impressed. Absolutely a splurge but our NYC-based group of friends has (obviously) not socialized or gone anywhere for four months and we felt it was money well spent and we had a blast.

    I agree with the comment above that magic/mentalism is pretty exclusively white and male – this led me down a rabbit hole (ha) of searching for BIPOC/womxn magicians/mentalists. I found:

    Jo, the Black Girl Magician: https://www.theblackgirlmagician.com

    Interesting article about Tanya Solomon: https://narratively.com/conjuring-up-a-career-with-one-of-nycs-only-female-magicians/

    Belinda Sinclair: http://belindasinclair.com/Belinda_Sinclair_-_Biography.html

    Thanks for the fun, hot tip and to the commenter for encouraging me to dig deeper. I’ll def continue searching for BIPOC performers offering virtual shows because I want every Zoom party to include a surprise performance now. :)

  5. Lydia Brooks says...

    Thanks to recommendations from Cup of Jo readers my boyfriend and I have been playing a ton of Duel, so fun! Now we want the expansion pack!

  6. Jen says...

    The mentalist idea sounds so fun! I did a bit of googling but I can only find white people who do this kind of thing. Do you all have any suggestions for BIPOC mentalists (or similar)?

    • Olivia says...

      Thanks for this comment! I booked an event with Jason (and it was amazing) but your comment encouraged me to dig deeper – I found Jo, the Black Girl Magician (https://www.theblackgirlmagician.com) and will reach out for other events.

  7. Nicole says...

    I’ve been loving the Marco Polo app as a way to keep in touch with friends. You essentially leave little video voicemails that they can watch on their own… it’s like asynchronous FaceTiming. :) A close friend from high school and I have been talking daily since the spring and it has been so amazing to reconnect in a way that feels really personal but also feels easier to pull off than having a phone conversation. I’m also in a group “Polo” with some friends we’d normally connect with in-person and it helps to feel connected to one another’s lives.

  8. Jami says...

    I haven’t found reading as appealing as tv during the pandemic somehow, plus am REALLY missing the library and paper books there…but I’m getting into audio books and finding that fun and a nice break for the eyes after all.those.zoom.meetings. The only trouble is I’m falling asleep after 20 mins consistently while the book plays on for another hour or so!!! Which leads me to the added bonus of this: extra sleep vs. when I was staying up so late watching tv :)

  9. Caroline says...

    I highly recommend checking out Priya Parker’s podcast, Together Apart, for ideas for creating meaningful digital connections. She has helped people host virtual Passover seders and baby showers, and some of them sound better than the usual in person events!

  10. Janet says...

    The Baby-Sitters Club on Netflix is a delight. I was a huge fan of the books growing up, but even if you’ve never read them, it’s just perfect. The casting is spot-on, the storylines are perfectly updated for today, and it’s great for all ages. I’m super stressed with work deadlines and life decision-making this week, and am really looking forward to watching the whole series again this weekend.

    • hannah says...

      I came here to say the same thing! It’s just delightful!

    • April says...

      Can’t wait to watch this. I also loved the books growing up. I got caught red-handed many nights as a kid reading Baby-Sitters Club books with a flashlight under my blanket long after my bed time. I even remember my mother threatening me once that she wasn’t going to buy me the BSC box sets anymore since I would never go to bed on time. I was totally hooked on the series!

  11. Corrie says...

    My husband and I have been doing Bob Ross nights once a week- all 20+ seasons are free on youtube! We don’t have acrylic paints or canvasses so we are using a watercolor set and paper but it’s still really fun. We try to keep up with him and paint those all those almighty trees, mountains, and clouds. I think we are getting better… maybe. Now as we’re out and about and see a pretty vista we ask each other – “Could you Bob Ross that?”

    • This is so charming and funny!

  12. Elle says...

    Queen Sugar, executive produced by Ava DuVernay and Oprah, on Hulu is so good! Can’t wait for season 5.

    • Elle says...

      It’s also created by Ava DuVernay, based on Natalie Baszile’s debut novel!

  13. Alexandra says...

    I am working from home, kids are home (summer), we in CA are still or again in quarantine mode … my 11-year old and I have been watching Anne of Green Gables and Little Women on Netflix, so fun to talk about it and be transported to a different time. She likes reading historic novels, so these shows fit right in there. I love swimming, but since the pool is closed, I had to find something else to do, so I re-discovered bike rides. I am planning to write down my family history (or family stories), but it’s not easy to get started on that.

  14. Moriah says...

    I’ve hosted two mini Ted Talk nights via Zoom that have been an absolute blast. I asked my friends to present for 5 minutes on topics they are passionate about. We’ve seen talks on Why McDonald’s has the best Diet Coke, famous last words, why George Harrison was the best Beatle, why everyone should use bidets, and my Dad even told us why he believes in Bigfoot! I laughed until I cried every time. Up next, I’m asking friends to fill out a Taylor Swift song bracket and then present their top two songs.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I LOVE this!!!!

    • Nora says...

      Why DOES McDonald’s have the best diet Coke??

    • jules says...

      LOVE this idea. But Diet Coke in the can. Always.

    • Kelly says...

      My college girlfriends and I talk every Sunday since the pandemic started (there are seven of us!), and I just sent this idea to them! I’d talk about vintage clothing. :)

    • Carol F. says...

      Mini Ted Talk night!!! Such a great idea. Thank you.

  15. Ramya says...

    I love Say I Do as well! Have only watched the first episode so far, but I loved it and ugly cried for much of it. Can’t wait to binge the rest!

    Also for fun, for most of the pandemic I’ve been involved in a weekly (Friday) happy hour with a group of dear colleagues/friends that I used to work with in Thailand. We’re now scattered around the world – the U.S., Panama, France, the UK, Israel, Vietnam, etc. Time differences are tricky, but we’ve had a fun activity most weeks led by one of us, including a bachata lesson, charades about our former colleagues (that was hilarious!), an Indian cooking class, origami, a quiz about the organization we used to work for, arts & crafts, karaoke, a Bollywood dance class and soon a fashion show! They’ve all been hilarious and so much fun. We’re thinking to put together a presentation at the end with photos and anecdotes from all of these wacky gatherings we’ve shared. Connection across borders and tough times – good for the soul :-)

  16. Amy says...

    Am binging 90 Day Fiancée…!

  17. Cynthia says...

    I’m curious to know how much the mentalist charges – no info on his website.

  18. Ginger says...

    Super happy to see “Say I Do” on the list. I went to high school with Thai Nguyen, and he is genuinely the sweetest, most creative guy I’ve ever met. He was doing fashion shows in our school gym even then, so it’s lovely to see him so successful and happy.

    Another couple for the list: “Red Oaks” on Prime is like a 3 series long 1980s summer movie. My husband commented that it’s like a live action cartoon (in a good way). We’re also blowing through “The Americans” on Prime as well. So very very good – Keri Russell is bonkers in this. I can’t believe she didn’t win an Emmy. Matthew Rhys is low-key sexy, but I really just have a secret crush on Oleg (Costa Ronin), the KGB officer. Everyone wears amazing disguises and the stories are both exciting and heartbreaking.

    • Amy says...

      Loved Red Oaks! And my husband and I were surprised by how much we loved watching Sex Education – since then we’ve gotten two other couples hooked on it. It’s hilarious in many parts, but also has depth and value and you feel really invested in the characters.

    • A says...

      Ummmm yes to everything you said about The Americans!!! Keri, Matthew and hell yes Oleg. Did you know Matthew is Scottish and he and Keri are now a couple?

    • Ginger says...

      @A – I did know they were together. Such an intense show, I think after you’ve been through that together, you can get through anything! I thought Matthew Rhys was Welsh? He and his adorable accent are also quite good in The Wine Show on Hulu…

  19. KJ says...

    I just finished Rodham and it blew me away! Did not think I would like it at all.

    I’m kinda in a lull right now with TV and no longer have Hulu. Would love a drama I can really get immersed in.

    Aside from that, camping is the one thing that we can still do consistently. Very lucky to live in Colorado.

  20. Kelly says...

    I’d love to hear more ideas from people about fun things to do on Zoom calls. Re-connecting with some close friends from grad school who live across the country in a regular way has been one of the few positive life changes to come out of 2020, and it would be fun to try something new every once in a while. We have tried Jackbox (it was okay) but that’s about it!

    • Tess says...

      My friend hosted a bingo night that was a hit! He sent each person a randomly generated PDF bingo card (myfreebingocards dot com) and collected $20 from each person on Venmo, and then called out the numbers using a random number generator! It was a crazy amount of fun, people got really into it!

    • Jane I. says...

      Tess – that is a great idea! I’m hosting a virtual baby shower and I’m stumped for ideas that aren’t awkward… Baby Bingo it is!

    • Olivia says...

      I bought a bunch of baby shower games on Etsy and have used them in Zoom baby showers by sharing the screen. Everyone LOVES them! I bought mine from a shop called BlueXPink but there are tons. (Virtually all are super binary gendered!!!! Would love to see more inclusivity!)

  21. Sasha L says...

    We have a big book of crosswords that we’ve been working through. Brain exercise and diverting.

    Just finished STNG, I’m sad. Moving on to DS9. They are such hopeful shows, much needed right now.

    Also listening to music – new Beasty Boys channel on XM, and Bob Marley too.

    And I just got the latest Meik Wiking (lovingly, Mike the Viking in my mind), book from my library, all about making happy memories. Which seems a little off kilter right now, like a message from another universe. But also reminding me that real happiness isn’t dependent on circumstance, but on one’s attitude toward circumstance. Very needed right now. Also been reading beloved Thich Nhat Hanh’s how to sit and how to eat, tiny books full of loving wisdom. I want to read more antiracist works as well, and novels by Black writers, but access to my library is very challenging right now. Big love to all the library workers out there, this is a hard time for them.

    Also watching Stateless, Australian and gripping. It centers on a refugee detainment center and reminds me that the US isn’t the only country grappling with (and bungling) the refugee crisis. It’s heartbreaking.

  22. Jaime says...

    Some friends of mine have been hosting a weekly trivia night via Zoom. Someone new “hosts” every week, and gets to choose all the categories, which is fun insight into their niche interests. :) It’s friends from different seasons of their life, so hardly any of us know each other, but it’s super fun. I’m hosting next week and I’m having so much fun coming up with categories. I have a running list on my phone.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I love this idea!

  23. Kylee says...

    So happy to see a plug for “Say I Do” which was filmed in Cincinnati and really shows off the city!! We love it here and are happy to see so many gratuitous shots of our skyline and beautiful parks. It’s such an underrated city, and we hope this might encourage some more visitors in a post-pandemic future.

  24. MONOPOLY DEAL!!!! The greatest game ever (No disrespect to UNO)! How would you like to play a whole game of monopoly in 15-20 minutes with cards only. It’s so fun because you’re forced to short term and long term strategize and one hand can turn the whole game up on its end! I bring my pack wherever I go.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      this sounds so good!

    • sarah says...

      yes! monopoly deal! I brought it on a backpacking trip years ago and it’s still my go-to card game. you’re so right that one hand completely can upset the game. it’s great!

    • Laura says...

      Yes, love Monopoly Deal!

    • Sarah says...

      My husband and I play this almost every day. So good and super fun.

    • Alexandra says...

      Second! I meant to get my family to like board games during quarantine, but most of them were long, and they were not that interested. But they do love Monopoly Deal. It’s very awesome and can be played by kids, teenagers, adults. (And it teaches the kids that you one hand can turn the entire game…)

  25. Julia C says...

    It’s impassible for me to look at that gif and not sing “Believe or not George isn’t at home”…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahaha

    • SARAH says...

      Same.

    • Cookie says...

      :D I thought the same thing!

  26. The Great (Hulu), a reimagined version of the life of Catherine The Great, is so clever and bawdy — in a LOL way.

  27. Amy says...

    Old “Jeopardy!” episodes on Netflix – entertaining, timeless, and comforting. I also have a tiny crush on Alec Trebec :)

  28. Nan says...

    Everyone here apparently loves What Do You Meme, but I was underwhelmed by the “adult” version. I’m totally comfortable with sex, swear like a sailor, and am normally fine with R-rated content, but the immaturity and misogynistic attitude about sex in this game left both my husband and I very unimpressed. Curious if anyone else felt the same.

    P.S. Monikers, on the other hand, we thought was smart, hilarious, and so much fun.

  29. Twyla says...

    I’ve been taking bass guitar lessons online, and it’s so fun & challenging! It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I realized I had no more excuses. I have a fantastic teacher that does lessons over Zoom, and I practice over my work breaks during the week. I already learned the intro to Ramble On!

  30. I’m late to the party, but my daughter and I binged Schitt$ Creek and it is our FAVORITE! I’m mad that we binged because I don’t want it to be over :(. I’ve also been watching Living Single and A Different World reruns and Spike Lee classics, School Daze and Do The Right Thing trying to school my daughter. I still love them, but she’s not impressed “I don’t get 80’s and 90’s humor.” Spike’s newest movie Da 5 Bloods was pretty good. I watched the new season of Dead To Me, another favorite. I want to play family games but we’re so competitive over here that my daughter refuses to play with us

  31. Jeannie says...

    I can’t wait to watch “grown up” shows with my daughter. She’s 5…almost but really not…

    • Hannah says...

      My mom and I watched E.R. when I was in highschool from start to finish, it’s such a good memory for me. You’ll get there! It’s so fun! And I can’t wait to do the same with my own daughter (who’s 3 and loves British Baking Show if you two haven’t tried that yet!)

    • Kate says...

      Try Nailed It! Our whole family (almost 5 year old daughter and 7.5 year old son) loves it. My son regularly laughs so hard he can barely breath :)

    • Lauren says...

      My almost 7 year old loves watching Nailed It and now her new favorite The Floor is Lava on Netflix

  32. Grace says...

    Books: Beach Read by Emily Henry and If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane. Keeping it light.

    TV: I’m late to this party, but I just finished Ramy and it was fantastic. I’m halfway through Mrs. America. Cate Blanchett is a master.

    Weird Stuff: I’ve been watching Bachata dance tutorials on YouTube and practicing my footwork while I clean. Also have been watching extended Premier League highlights nightly though I’ve never been into sports 🤷🏻‍♀️

    • Elizabeth Felker says...

      OMG love the idea of watching Bachata dance tutorials!

    • I occasionally listen to bachata and dance while I cook! :)

  33. GF says...

    I’ve been enjoying silly escapist shows – What we do in the shadows (Hulu) was so funny and such a breath of fresh air! The Great on hulu too was also fun and so gorgeous! I’m looking for something new to watch so this post is perfect timing!

    • Jenny T. says...

      Yes! What We Do in the Shadows – a vampire mockumentary by Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords -is so much fun.

  34. Erin Wilcox says...

    I just finished reading The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel. Moody, dark, but so compelling.

  35. Melanie says...

    “What Do You Meme” is my kid’s absolute favorite game. We are in a “pod” with my parents and watching my 12 year old trying to explain what a meme is to her grandfather was hilarious. Once he got the hang of it, we were all in tears. My kids also enjoy the little classes on Outschool. My 12 year old took a beginner’s fashion drawing class and came away with a great drawing.

    • celeste says...

      Thanks for the Outschool rec. The tween years are the hardest to find stuff to do this summer, I feel!

  36. Lauren E. says...

    What Do You Meme is absolutely incredible. We played it at a family Christmas a few years ago and I was crying I laughed so hard. Thanks for the reminder!

    My husband and I pulled out his old Wii console and we play golf and bowling a couple times week. We’re both working from home and can get into a work/eat/TV rut, so getting up and doing something “active” can feel like a nice break. We’ll also put on an 80s or 90s pop playlist, plug in a disco light, pour a couple cocktails, and have a dance party. I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever want to leave my apartment again!

  37. Deb says...

    Random one but I’ve been enjoying that I finally found the setting on my kindle to swap the text so the background is black and the text is white – much less blue light before bed and better sleep! Took me several attempts to find it and not sure I could do it again to switch it back but still counting it as a win :-D.

    For the podcast fans among you that haven’t found Hidden Brain yet, every episode is fascinating, I’m on a one-woman crusade to spread the word because no one’s ever heard of it!

    • Savannah says...

      Hidden Brain is on KUOW (my hometown NPR station) at 0900 on Saturdays and I realized I was an adult when I was puttering around my kitchen cooking the kids breakfast with Shankar thinking, “Yes! The perfect Saturday!”

      No more hungover Saturday brunches with friends but Hidden Brain makes up for it!

    • Jacqueline says...

      Hidden Brain is the best thing ever ever ever. Shankar always asks the exact question I am thinking to his guests and the topics are so diverse. I’m in love with him, don’t tell my husband!

    • Mimi says...

      Hidden Brain is great – I used to listen to it on my way into work. You might also enjoy RadioLab if you don’t know it already.

    • Ann says...

      I actually work at KUOW, so it’s often on around our house. When my son (then 4) heard Shankar on Morning Edition one day on the drive to preschool, he announced solemnly “I love this man.” He couldn’t say why – but I got it! His voice is so soothing and kind. I emailed my son’s remark to Shankar (who I’ve never met) and he sent such a sweet reply – as if there wasn’t enough to love about him!

  38. Rin says...

    I just finished reading A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, and WOW. Political intrigue sci-fi at its finest.

    I’ve been watching The Young Montalbano on BBC4, and enjoying the views! (The scenery is pretty gorgeous, too!)

  39. Charlotte says...

    I just finished the book The Simple Wild and loooooooved it! I’m reading way more since March, so that’s a good thing. My husband and I also (finally) watched The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and loved it as well. Now we’re watching 24 (on Netflix), but somehow I find it a bit boring. Hopefully season 2 is better. And hikes and walks and lots of coffee …

    • anna says...

      wait, 24 as in the show about Jack Bauer? it gets so addicting! my family binged it back in the day- trust me, things will happen and then you can’t stop watching!

    • Sondra says...

      Saturday night family olympics in the back yard. We have teams with each kid getting a parent on their team and the two oldest boys together. Past games were just things like target boxes turned into mock-ski ball course; wiffle ball home run derby, and obstacle courses. Also, tried to teach the kids the game, “spud”. Anybody remember that from their childhood. I feel like this quarantine has given us a pass to re enter childhood and play good old fashioned games like flashlight tag, hide and go seek, and freeze tag. Good times

  40. Louise says...

    It may not be the most highbrow, and I’m late to the party, but RuPaul’s Drag Race is really fun! It’s campy and dramatic, yes, and it’s expanded my understanding of what drag is and can be. And when the world is so stressful, watching lip sync battles is a nice respite. And everybody loves puppets!

  41. margaret says...

    Jo, you’re delivering the content I need!

    Book: The Stationery Shop is a story about growing up in Iran before the revolution, and is a really lovely literary love story. Warning: you will need Persian food.

    TV series: Mrs. America (Hulu). I thought it would be depressing (the demise of the ERA) but it was just wonderful. With Cate Blanchett. On the lighter side: Community. So so funny, quirky.

    Move: Book Smart.

    Snack: Cheez Its, better than you remember!

    • Deb says...

      Yes! I LOVED Booksmart!

    • Ramya says...

      The Stationery Shop is on my Kindle – need to get to it soon!

    • margaret says...

      Update to my own post: I just remembered Lovebirds on netflix. So so good!!

    • Yes! I love Cheez-its. I used to bring the back to Canada with me after every visit back to the US, but we got Cheez-its here this winter and I’m SO HAPPY about it!

  42. Eloise says...

    I am eating popcorn as I read this. I am George Costanza. George Costanza is me.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahahaha

    • Sondra says...

      Ha ha! I love George. As I get older, I feel like I am turning into him. Which isn’t a bad thing.

  43. Alison says...

    I’m enjoying the new HAIM album, Women in Music, Pt. III; reading All Adults Here by Emma Straub; making Kandi bracelets (would be a great parent/kid activity for you to feature); and enjoying G&Ts made with Barr Hill gin and Meyer lemons when I kind find them!

    • Ditto on the HAIM album! The perfect summer album and contender for Best Album of 2020 for me!

    • Emily says...

      I am loving the new HAIM album too! I think I’ve listened to it at least 20 times since I got it last week. Here’s a link to a short live performance they did: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_eJU6X3_jQ

  44. Jules says...

    Three fave movies. Midnight Express. Papillon and an Officer and a Gentlemen. I’m kinda avoiding tv and catching up on three trillion kindle books I’ve downloaded 🙄

  45. Sarah says...

    I watched the entire Longmire series. It’s like Murder, She Wrote (which I loved as a kid!) set in Wyoming (so everyone carries a gun, be forewarned). I am listening to Ruth Reichl’s “Save Me the Plums” on audio. She reads it, thank goodness! Her voice is so great and I’m kicking myself for not keeping all my old issues of Gourmet magazine, which I still miss 10 years after it folded.

    • K says...

      Oh my gosh! I just bought the entire series of Murder She Wrote on dvd. It was only $100, seriously. Greatest purchase of maybe the last ten years. I was a little embarrassed, but it was my childhood favorite and now, no shame, adult favorite. Last night, as we were falling asleep, my husband said, “I wonder what Jessica will get up to tomorrow.” So much happiness!

    • Rachel Betts says...

      Longmire is SO good!

    • Sarah says...

      I am really trying to curb spending right now but $100 for Murder, She Wrote is very tempting!

    • Sarah says...

      Rachel – Do you wish you had a “What Would Walt Do?” coffee mug? I do.

  46. Mak says...

    Not a new game, but my partner and I have been obsessed with playing Monopoly Deal. Sometimes during the workday we’ll take a 15 minute break to play a round! Other times we’ll play multiple rounds at night before bed. It’s super fun.

  47. Laura says...

    There isn’t any pricing on the website, would you mind sharing the pricing for the mentalist and how long the performance lasts? Would it be fun for a smaller group of four or six?

    • Moriah says...

      I would also love to know the pricing for an upcoming birthday!

    • Kelly says...

      I just watched “Palm Springs” and it’s great! Thanks for the rec, Caroline!

  48. K says...

    Loved Palm Springs. Perfect movie for the world we’re in. Also, I loved Cristin Milioti in it. She’s the heart and comedic center of that movie for me.

    • Denise says...

      Did you see her in Modern Love? Her episode was wonderful!

    • K says...

      Oh my, Denise! Yes. That was probably the first thing I saw her in so I didn’t make the connection, but yes. That was so sweet. Might rewatch that episode tonight.

  49. Joaquina says...

    Guess I am too old and/or too brown for”Palm Springs”, this hugely overrated yet beloved film. Andy Samberg’s performance was surprisingly good but A) yet again we Black and brown people are barely represented
    and B) I am so tired of the “bitchy pixie white girl gets the hot guy” trope.

    On a more positive note, “What do you meme” is really fun to play with friends, I recommend for post COVID gatherings.

    Also, for those interested in an enjoyable film with (gasp!) Black main characters, see “If Beale Street Could Talk”, currently streaming. Beautiful cinematography. Excellent acting and storyline. And a Nina Simone soundtrack. We need more Barry Jenkins films.

    • Laura says...

      I agree that it’s disappointing to see so little diversity in the movie.
      But for myself, I watched it to support the Director of Photography, a woman named Quyen Tran who is a Vietnamese-American cinematographer. Her work is so beautiful!

    • margaret says...

      Fair criticism of the movie Joaquina, but I have to challenge you on one point: Andy Samberg as the hot guy??? Love him dearly, but . . . . ( ;
      For those who like Andy Samberg but want more diversity, Brooklyn 99 is terrific. And plenty of episodes to binge!

    • Abbe says...

      I feel this Joaquina — all of my friends who have recommended the movie to me have been white. It’s funny how quick people are to conveniently forget about representation. I’m sure it’s a fun movie but any fun I’d get out of it would be undercut by some bitterness.

    • Beth says...

      I’d highly recommend the new Netflix movie, “The Old Guard” with its female director, Gina Prince-Bythewood, leads Kiki Layne and Charlize Theron and diverse cast. Well done and intriguing!

    • Fiona says...

      @Beth I completely agree about The Old Guard, we really enjoyed it! Great, diverse cast, and it’s amazing what female directors, producers and writers do for storytelling, character arcs and emotional depth without in ANY way messing with the explosions and action and chases I love!

    • Ramya says...

      Sigh. I feel this with a lot of movies/TV/books that are recommended. People give a lot of lip service to representation and promoting content that features black and brown folk but then don’t back it up in their actions beyond the couple of weeks when it was top of mind for everyone. I’m not referring to this blog necessarily, which has done a great job on this front, but it’s a general musing I’ve been having…

    • MG says...

      I’ve really enjoyed Yvonne Orji’s (from Insecure) standup special and “I May Destroy You” created by Michaela Coel (both on HBO). Also, I was blown away by the documentary “Roller Dreams” on Hulu.

    • Caroline says...

      Folks should check out the movie Love Jones. From the 90s. Romance, but not typical.

    • Kay says...

      If Beale Street Could Talk…sigh. I read the book first and then watched the movie. Both are heartbreakingly beautiful. The cast was excellent!

    • K. says...

      Re: Margaret’s suggestion… my husband and I have been binging Brooklyn 99 (in the middle of season 3). The cast is indeed diverse and charming, and we’ve really grown to enjoy it, but… wow, is it a problematic show. From Amy and Jake’s rivalry where she’s the goody-two-shoes try-hard while he’s the immature but beloved, talented cop who cracks all the hardest cases (can’t recall a single lightbulb moment from Amy so far)… to a startling number of jokes and gags that especially in this era are super cringe (sexual harassment, casual police brutality, playing off racist stereotypes and then hamfistedly attempting to “invert” them or “ironically” embrace them, etc)… to the tacit premise that ultimately police are a force for good… watching it highlights many issues and makes me self-conscious (not necessarily in a bad way) of what a fraught show this is, even as it makes me laugh. Andy Samberg has recently said that they’re trying to explore how to evolve the show in light of the protest movement… curious to see if they can pull it off, and how.

  50. Dani says...

    tbh, it’s been constant Hamilton and Disney classics here! :) Would love to dive into something new, but the world is so crazy that snuggling down with something nostalgic or familiar is just the ticket.
    Hamilton was the exception, but I’ve watched it so many times now that it is now a classic.

  51. Mary H. says...

    I would love to hear more about the mentalist! That sounds like it might be fun and unique way to celebration something virtual, relative to the usual zoom call! was it family friendly? how many folks can be on the call?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      About 15 people can be on the call and it’s family friendly although it might be confusing for younger ones.

  52. Hilary says...

    I’m taking watercolor and lettering classes on SkillShare! I found out about SkillShare from Cup of Jo, and I’ve loved having a more creative outlet. I’m just okay at it, but it’s been nice having a non-work and non-parenting thing to enjoy and learn about. Also read some good YA thriller’s like The Cheerleader and One of Us is Lying.

  53. Virginia says...

    This is too funny- we not only have Palm Springs in the queue, but we have a zoom night scheduled with a mentalist (Max Major)!!!! What?!? We’re excited to do something different! It’s scheduled for the night before my due date with our first baby, so it’ll likely be our last date night as non-parents. A fun quarantine-style date to tell our son about. :)

    • Amanda says...

      This is so fun! I love that you’re celebrating a big life change in this way. Congratulations on your son!

  54. Mimi says...

    Itaewon Class – KDrama on Netflix. It’s a coming of age story set in Seoul. I binged the series but my mind won’t let go of it – and some of the music makes serious earworms.

    .

    • jane says...

      Welp, I thought I’d check it out for something different, and it is so sensitive! The father son story in the first episode is so powerful and touching at the same time. Very different to anything I’ve seen in US teen dramas, thanks so much for the rec!